19 September 2012

Istanbul Passage by Joseph Kanon

It has been a long time since I've read such a satisfying espionage novel--which is saying a lot because I read Alan Furst's latest not too long ago. Along with the usual trope of dropping an ordinary guy in a spy scenario and watching him run, this novel zeroes in on ethics and morality. All protagonist Leon Bauer wants is to be one of the good guys, but he's finding that increasingly complicated.The second world war is over so the sharp black and white of things is gone: our enemies today were our friends yesterday, and today's friends are yesterday's fiends.

Nothing is what it seems, Bauer finds, which is no surprise to an experienced reader of spy thrillers, but still, Istanbul Passage was full of suspense and a pleasure to read.

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